I’m done Moving

September 23rd, 2012

Hey Everyone!

I am finally settled in for a while now and you may have noticed a change around here. I am in the process of migrating from Joomla to WordPress. I had tried to upgrade Joomla to 2.5.X version, and well….I got annoyed at Joomla to say the least. Unfortunately this means that for now, everyone’s usernames and comments are gone. I am in the process of trying to recover them as well as rescalling the images to fit the pages.

Let me know if you have any ideas as to what I should put up or take down etc.

 

My e-mail is the same as always, jordan@electronicsjunk.com.

 

Bye for now,

Jordan

I’m moving!

July 27th, 2011

Hey everyone,

Thanks for reading this stuff. I just wanted to let you all know that I haven’t been adding tot he site recently because I’m in the process of moving. All of my electronics gear is packed up and unfortunately will be the last thing I will be able to unpack and set up (The kitchen is my favorite place to be). I will try to keep somewhat of an ongoing update on this article to keep those who care informed.

I was wondering if there are some things anyone out there would like help modifying? If so drop me an e-mail at jordan@electronicsjunk.com, and I’ll at least be able to point you in a direction.

 

Take care everyone, I’ll be back soon.

Jordan

My 1-Wire Protocol Lawn Mower

June 11th, 2011

When I got home with it, it was apparent that someone had tried to get it ready for the season, as there was a new spark plug, air filter and it was full of new TWO STOKE OIL?! I quickly emptied that out and put in some 4 stroke oil (no reading of labels here, it came from the dump). Needless to say it worked fine for the next 2 years of being neglected and abused.

Here it is now in my sandy yard, covered in sand;

 

When I went to get it going this year the handle that you have to hold down for it to run had seized up and would not let it run. “back tot he dump with you” I exclaimed as I ripped the handle and cable off.

I also had to take a spring off to disengage the engine brake.

This worked wonders besides having to cover the carburetor with your hand to stop the engine. I used it like this out of laziness for a few weeks until today. I decided to rig up a switch to shut it off on a whim. I am going to call this a “hack” as hacks are typically sloppy and ugly.  Without further to do, I present to you my “1-wire Protocol, kill switch hack”. When you are done doing your thing, you hold the red button to shut off the mower.

The ElectronicsJunk 1-Wire protocol is born!

One wire goes to ground and the other to the Coil. When the circuit is completed by the button, the coil is grounded and the lawnmower dies. (for the record this is not to be confused with the Dallas 1-wire protocol which is actually useful)

 

This article has no real purpose, except to maybe get you to your local dump to recycle some abandoned stuff. A cheap and fun way to improve your soldering skills is to bring something home from the dump and de-solder its components without any fear of ruining it. Also you can scavenge some interesting parts this way. Not to mention project boxes made from old VCR’s and the like. There are countless things to find at the dump that are in great condition and working order. The only issue you will have is being able to scavenge things from it. Most landfill sites (in Ontario) do not allow the scavenging of stuffs from their facility. This is because they sell the accumulated metals, woods, plastics, etc to recycling companies for profit. I know we can argue that what I am doing is stealing, but in the same breath we pay for such landfill sites in our taxes. Who knows how all of the financing works out, or who is benefiting from it, but as far as I’m concerned why not make use of something that so much time and energy goes into making instead of scrapping it before it has died of natural causes. It all just seems so wasteful to me.

Anyways in short, most landfill attendants are great people who share my personal views about recycling. Just make sure you speak with them before you go grabbing stuff, as it may already belong to someone new, or is being saved for an organization. (I know of an attendant who accepts bags of washed clothes as well as dishes and other household items to be re-used by people who need them).

as an extra note I would like to mention that I wear gloves at the dump, wash everything with the garden hose and soap (including electronics, inside and out) and let everything dry in the sun.

Anyways best of luck on your adventures and I hope you at least check out a local landfill site.

 

Saleae Logic Close Up

June 7th, 2011

Return to saleae Article

Inside the Saleae Logic

2001 Mazda Protoge MP3 input

June 7th, 2011
Once I gutted the box and had just the pcb board left in my hands, it was easy enough to locate the FM module protruding from the main board just behind the antenna plug.
As you can see the module is shielded, which makes it next to impossible to see whats going on behind the board. I say next to impossible because i am weary of de-soldering components just to get a peek back there. When i flipped the board to reveal the connections, it didn’t look much better as there were no clear markings for the different pins of the FM module.
Luckily I could read the markings on the two chips on the FM module and quickly found their data sheets,
Not quite sure what the first chip is for, however the second one seems to have a Demodulation component with a L-Out and R-Out at pins 9 and 10. This sounded very similar to what Jordan has on his radio. So I followed those pins and found out where they connect on the pcb.
(This is the working circuit by Jordan)
So I am happy to say that it works. The volume is a bit low but thats not a big deal other than when i change between the radio and the aux in i have to turn it down first.
The only thing left for me to do now is get some epoxy to secure the jack in the panel because the hot glue i used is complete rubbish.

 

Thank you Deyan for allowing me to share this. I’m sure it can help someone else out there to enjoy their MP3 collection.

If any one has any questions, concerns or praise to give, please leave a comment below.

 

Dynatel 956DSP Repair and Mod

June 3rd, 2011

 

Once inside it was apparent that this thing was made to withstand some abuse. Here a few pictures of the unit;

My dynatel

Here is a picture of what the test leeds look like. the cylindrical part on the aligator clips holds a bed of nails to make connections. Just squeeze a wire and you are making connections.

This is where the pin header was removed from the PCB and I simply soldered leads from here to the barrel jack. Nothing fancy really. This setup has served me quite well, until something awful happened about 6 months ago.

This is the finished adapter. It is just a standard 5 mm barrel jack, and some beefy washers to fill the gaping hole. I recently wrote what kind of adapter would be acceptable directly on the case to avoid mishaps.

Now for some pictures of the inside, and the latest repair.

Somewhere along the way someone decided to charge the Dynatel 965 DSP, I’m not sure with what or how, but they made it not want to turn on again. I couldn’t be bothered with it for the last six months, until I saw it on top of ome junk in my shed. So I brought it inside and got to work taking it apart.

The construction of this unit is very rugged. As I mentioned earlier it had been run over by some sort of vehicle, the tire marks looked as though a large truck had drove over the bottom end of it. The only damage that was apperant was the plug connector of one of the leads was broke and one corner has a small crack.

 

All of the screws have threaded inserts and are stainless steel. There are also gaskets and o rings on everything you can imagine. I ‘m not sure what sort of standard this unit achieves but I imagine it is at least a little waterproof :) . It is strange however that there are no markings on the unit as to its CAT rating or ANYTHING. There is just some information about its last calibration and who to contact if you need such calibration.

 

The small board on top contains the voltage input, charging and distribution.

This is the other side of the first big PCB seen in the image above. It has the connections for the 5 test leads and has a ton of analog circuitry.

And lets not forget 10 relays! I have not even begun to figure out the signal path inside of this thing as there is just so much, and everything interconnects with headers etc. Not to mention some parts being on the back of a PCB but on the front of another, it gets confusing trynig to trace anything.You can also see the 5 input conections along the bottom. They are like a miniature banana plug i suppose.

Here are a few pictures the rest of the analog boards followed by the LCD controllers at the end.

And finally the back of the LCD. It is quite a nice unit, as it is a dot matix type with a back light.

This unit also uses a “Dragon Ball” processor. followed by a few pictures of some of the support devices. These are also found in older palm devices. that could make for a more interesting story I think. Linux would therefor be a possibility. Well beyond my abilities though I’m afraid.

 

 

Ok, so here is what was damaged.

The orange arrow points to a damaged diode, the red circle was a SMD fuse, which I replaced with some solder (not like it did it’s job anyways), and the orange circle is an inductor. the next picture shows what happened to that inductor. Also not the brown marks on the silk screening around L9.

This image was taken with my video microscope at 200X magnification. Left is the replacement, right is the…well gun shot victim?! This inductor does how ever work as a 4.7 nf capacitor now. Go figure. there was also no way for me to tell what the value was supposed to be so I just randomly grabbed one and soldered it in there. This was probably the crappiest repair I have ever made, but I really didn’t care that much and the value does not seem important in this case.

And finally it works again! One neat thing abou this meter is that you can change between wire pairs to make measurements. See in the image below how the box with the arrows comming form the red and black marks on the side( means red and black leads) is in bold, this means that that pair is selected. you can then toggle between red/green, black/green, and red/black again.

 

 

This is probably a bit borring for most of you, I just thought some of you would like to see all of those innards. I took a look around the interwebs for a similar one, and found that they sell for $1500 on Ebay. They look a whole lot nicer than this one though.

If there is someone out there who would want this unit to play with let me know. You can have it for the cost of the shipping, I just really have no use for it anymore and I think someone else could enjoy it. It weighs roughly 1.5 pounds with the test leads and I live in Ontario Canada. Just send me an e-mail at jordan@electronicsjunk (dot) com, or leave a comment here.

 

 

Subaru Clarion stereo disassembly

May 19th, 2011

 

Subaru Clarion

Pry at the front panel with a flat screw driver at the arrows location;

Subaru Clarion

Just so you have an idea of what you are working against, here is a picture of the clips on the back. Thye are quite strong and you will have to pry/ pull quite hard at this. Just take your time and be careful not to snap the stupid thing in half.

Subaru Clarion

After this there are six screws to remove that hold the stereo and the junk collector :)

Subaru Stereo removal

Subaru Stereo removal

And Finally this is what you get;

Subaru Stereo removal

Now disconnect the wires from the back, and the ground clip from the side (Squeeze it to release it). There should be 4 screws(two on each side)  standing between  you and the stereo itself, just remove those and slide it out of the carriage. You can also remove the junk collector at this point if you want it on the top of the stereo, or vise versa. Mines on the bottom as I found it gets quite hot on the top.

Here is my model info in case it is useful to someone out there.

Subaru Clarion Model

I forgot to get a picture of the screw to remove on the top of the stereo to get off the first cover. Its near the back on the top of the stereo and is a gold philips. its the only scerw holding the top on and the rest is pressure clips around the edges. Once you find and remove this screw,( I’m sure you will see it), start to pry where the screwdriver is, being mindful not to go too deep in there.

Subaru Clarion disassembly

Then repeat the process on the other back corner. You may need to work at the edges as well, just take your time. Next you will need to remove the front of the stereo. This part simply clips onto the body and comes off as one piece with no wires attached to it. Just try and work your way around with two flat screwdrivers. Once you get it started it comes off quite easily.

Subaru Clarion front clips

Now you can remove the bottom cover. First remove the screw shown in the picture below, then behind where the front display was there are 5 black Phillips screws. remove all of those as well.(Sorry the picture of where the front screws are kinda sucks)

 

Subaru Clarion back

 

Front screws

Now you can pry off the bottom in the same way as you removed the top earlier. Next you need to remove the two additional screws that are holding the CD unit in. They are located one on each side at the back, the ones closest two the front. Note the slot to the right of the screw that has a metal tap pointing down. I used this spot to gently pry ou the CD unit as it is in there quite snugly.

Screws to remove CD deck

If you are ready to add an AUX jack to your stereo now click HERE

MP3 Imput for my 2004 Subaru

April 20th, 2011

 

To my astonishment it worked perfectly, I didn’t even need to add resistors or caps ( there are two there) and it is just about the same volume as the radio stations. I excitedly dug through some old parts bins to find a headphone jack. I ended up finding one (after 30 mins of digging) that had a dual throw, allowing it to switch two connections when the headphones are plugged in or out. Everything was going very smoothly with this project!

Next I wired the headphone jack to each side of where I cut the traces for both channels. Just to recap, when nothing is plugged in the radio plays, when mp3 player is plugged in it breaks the connection to the radio and plays the mp3. ( sorry for the crappy solder job, huge tip, small connections).

Subaru impreza outback mp3 modSubaru mp3 player

Next I routed the wires through to the front display where I could butcher a hole for the headphone jack. This involved breaking a piece off of the back light acrylic and snipping a corner off of the PCB, but there is nothing up in that corner it was just there to hold it snugly. Nothing some hot glue couldn’t fix, and besides there is a screw 1/2″ away.

Subaru mp3 player jackSubaru radio mp3

And here is the finished product. I am really satisfied with how this turned out. I was picturing something a bit gory, with wires poking out. The sound quality is on par with cd,and I believe that at the point where I connected the signal would have already been processed by the receiver, so it probably uses the same amplifier circuit as the cd player connection. My favorite part about this modification is there is no switch to use the mp3 player, just plug in and go. ( you may want to have the volume at a resonable level while pluging into the jack or unplugging, as it can be noisy). Maybe just turn it off first or something.

Subaru Mp3 jack installed

Finished Subaru Mp3 install

 

If any one else is interested in performing this surgery, let me know and I will give you some more important details about this head unit. I did have to nip the case inside to avoid wearing the wires and glued the solder connections on the back of the pcb. I didn’t want to get in there again. :)

Also, For the price of parts and shipping, I would consider doing this for you too , just leave a comment below and I will get back at you.

Here is a more detailed view and explanation as requested.

For starters I just want to recommend getting a hot air station if you are into hacking and moding stuff. Its so handy and precise unlike a heat gun. I have used it to remove glue, that black eposy form circuit boards, wax from candle holders… the list goes on. Mine cost $64 delivered from dealexcel.com. I know it isn’t a good one but it works well even with BGA’s…so who knows.

GET ONE!

 

this first one shows that the traces for the Left and Right signals coming form the FM board are cut just before the capacitors which are in the following picture.

Stereo mod

Capacitors on the top of the board

So what is taking place here is when you insert the headphone plug into the jack it breaks the connection from the FM board to those capacitors and inputs the signal from your IPOD/MP3 player to those capacitors instead. this effectively mutes the radio and plays your music of choice.

Here is a diagram of what is going on;

HeadPhone Jack

this is the type of jack you are after Here.  Just make sure that you have the same switch configuration as this datasheet Here. Let me know if you have any problems finding one and I’ll help you out. Also if you need more help please let me know in the comments here, or at my e-mail.

Have Fun!

Homebrew Signal Generator

April 3rd, 2011

April 21/2011 I just got an e-mail saying that the parts have FINALLY shipped!

*UPDATE* I am still waiting for anything to show up….. did my house fall off the delivery route?

 

hello everyone!

I am planning on making a signal generator for us hobbyist types and I just wanted to get some feedback from anyone willing to give it. I am (so far) looking at this chip AD9833BRM (Click for datassheet). It is a 3-Wire SPI signal generator chip with up to 25MHz generation at 0.1Hz resolution. Everything else is not as important, but here are a few ideas I have had so far. The display will be a 16X4 back lit LCD, and the controls will be a few tactile buttons and rotary encoders. I would like to stay as close to that 0.1Hz resolution as possible, and maybe have a course, fine and extra fine encoder? It will also be capable of creating saw, sine, square waveforms. I think it should also have an off set option and some sort of duty cycle adjustment. I am unsure however of what type of micro controller I should use. I ave a few different development boards around here, some of which would be far too overpowered for something so simple. Should I use something overpowered to leave room for revision like a Atmega 328? I’m going to need at least 10 pins for basic functionality, so maybe that would be just fine plus more people could use the code (Arduino).

I have been looking at this model from Rigol for some inspiration. It has loads of features, but it definitely costs too much for the amount of use it would get around here. Also I would only require single channel.

I’m going to start working on this in my spare time and I have gotten a few of the parts ordered. I want to make this as cheaply as possible so that more people could afford to make it as well, while not making it crappy. I’m going to keep updating this article as this project progresses to keep everyone updated. I’m sure there are a few people other than myself that are getting tired of looking at 555 timer projects in hopes of finding a usable signal generator, but to no avail.

 

Please leave me a comment down below as to weather or not you like this idea, if you have any design ideas or considerations. Even if you are interested in working on this project with me (I’m going to need some programming help with this one for sure). Any sort of comment would be helpful at this point :)

 

Thanks in advance,

Jordan

State of Electronics

March 27th, 2011

This is the trailer for the documentary “State of Electronics” by Karl von Moller. Please have a look at this and share it around, as it would be nice to see it on television one day! Here is the Original link http://vimeo.com/15612312

{vimeo}15612312{/vimeo}

{vimeo}21424290{/vimeo}

 

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